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Sam Altman re-enters through the Microsoft door. Milei wins Argentina with a crypto cheer. Crypto's US lobbying wallet grows. BTC options trading hits the high notes, and scammers are still at it.
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This happened lately: Year of SAM outs 💣
And now, Altman’s new gig: Microsoft's new advanced AI research team
Also, Greg Brockman, another OpenAI alum, is tagging along with Altman.
Also, Former OpenAI talents Szymon Sidor, Jakub Pachocki, and Aleksander Madry are jumping ship to Microsoft.
All this while Microsoft and OpenAI continue their BFF status.
What’s up in Argentina?
Javier Milei, known for his Bitcoin-friendly stance, has clinched victory in Argentina's presidential run-off election.
Milei secured a commanding win with over 55% of the votes, (leaving his opponent Sergio Massa behind with 44%) pulling ahead with a nearly 3-million-vote lead with almost 99% of votes counted.
Set to take office on December 10, Milei's win marks a major change in Argentina's political direction, especially concerning economic policies and CRYPTOCURRENCY.
Bitcoin Reacts: BTC saw a nearly 3% increase to $37,350 in the 24 hours following Massa's concession.
Inflation Crisis: Argentina has been grappling with a severe inflation crisis, with the peso experiencing a staggering 140% annual inflation. Milei has been a vocal critic of the country's central bank.
Called it - a "mechanism by which politicians cheat the good people with inflationary tax."
And he called Bitcoin - a move towards "the return of money to its original creator, the private sector."
Milei was even part of a controversy - association with the alleged Ponzi scheme, Coinx.
He denied that later.
Now, with this victory, his support for Bitcoin underscores a potential shift in the country's approach to currency and economic stability.
But, no plans for legal tender status.
Despite his positive views on Bitcoin, Milei has not indicated any plans to make Bitcoin legal tender in Argentina.
His focus is on eliminating the central bank and considering dollarisation.
Massa, in contrast, proposed launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC) as a solution to Argentina's inflation woes, reflecting fundamentally different views on money, banking, and the cryptocurrency industry.
Andrew Yang. American businessman and attorney.
"Unfortunately, what they see in the news is just Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX."
Andrew Yang, known for his forward-thinking views during his US presidential campaign, recently turned heads at the North American Blockchain Summit in Texas.
His focus? The untapped potential of blockchain and the pressing need for AI regulation in the United States.
Blockchain: Beyond the Hype, Into Public Utility
A Missed Opportunity: Yang expressed concern over blockchain's current trajectory in the US, noting that its potential is largely underutilised. This underutilisation, according to Yang, risks driving firms to more blockchain-friendly shores overseas.
"The way to avoid this fate is to have positive use cases for blockchain in solving problems for the American people. […] Unfortunately, what they see in the news is just Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX."
Yang, passionate about integrating technology into civic life, questioned why blockchain isn't being used for functions like mobile voting, a concept that could revolutionise democratic participation.
“We have not scratched the surface of what these tools can do to combat poverty.”
“Something I’m super passionate about, why is it that we can't vote on our mobile phones?”
“We may be getting ahead of ourselves with the development of these generative models.”
“You saw a deep fake of the Pentagon on fire, and the markets moved on that.”
“Let’s wait until the fiasco happens, and then we’ll have hearings about it afterwards,”
“We’re in danger of falling right into space because our legislative body is not functioning at a high level.”
TTD Numbers 🔢
The crypto industry in the US is not just mining coins; it's also mining influence.
Remember the days when the crypto lobby's budget was a mere $2.5 to $3 million (2019-2020)? Well, those days are long gone.
$20 million already spent on lobbying efforts in 2023.
On track to outspend its 2022 record of $22.2 million.
Huge difference from the $8.5 million in 2021.
Total Spend: $56.44 million by the crypto industry on US lobbying from 2019 to 2023.
This year, they're already at 19.7% of what Wall Street spends on lobbying.
And with the final quarter's numbers still pending, we might just see a new high score in the lobbying leaderboard.
Stable Roster with Big Players: The number of companies in the crypto lobbying game hasn’t seen much change since last year.
Number of Companies Involved:
2021: 37 companies.
2022: 57 companies.
2023: 56 companies.
Coinbase: $7.5 million.
Blockchain Association: $5.23 million.
Ripple: $3.46 million.
Notable New Participants: Binance, Dapper Labs, Crypto Council for Innovation, Digital Currency Group (DCG), FTX US.
Consistent Participants: Coinbase, Blockchain Association, Ripple, Chamber of Digital Commerce, Bitcoin Association, Anchorage Digital.
New in 2022: Crypto.com, Kraken, Tether, TaxBit among top spenders.
New in 2023: Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z), OKX, Polygon, Solana, Discover Crypto.
Where’s ETF? 🚨
Fidelity, a major asset management firm, has filed for an Ethereum ETF with the SEC. This move could potentially lead to a bull run for Ethereum?👇🏻
TTD OI 💹
Bitcoin options trading just hit a new high note.
All-time high in open interest, crossing the $15 billion mark.
Total Bitcoin options open interest across exchanges, hit about $16.49 billion According to The Block.
Deribit dominates with an 85% share in the Bitcoin options market.
A peak open interest of $18.05 billion was briefly reached on November 10.
At the time of the report, the open interest stood at $16.75 Billion.
What does this mean?
"Total open interest in bitcoin options surpassed that of BTC futures for the first time. This shift signifies the market's maturation and growing sophistication," says Deribit Chief Commercial Officer Luuk Strijers.
Why it matters
Options give investors the right to buy or sell Bitcoin at a set price on a future date. The execution price is set at the contract's start, and the option premium is paid then.
A jump in this number is a sign of increased liquidity and a growing crowd of participants. It shows that there's a lot of action, but it doesn't tell us whether the market sentiment is bullish (optimistic) or bearish (pessimistic).
dYdX's New Strategy
Decentralised crypto exchange dYdX is implementing new risk mitigation measures.
Why? the exchange recently tapped into its $9 million insurance fund to cover user losses following an alleged targeted attack on the Yearn.finance (YFI) token, leading to substantial liquidations.
To prevent similar incidents, dYdX has increased margin requirements across several less liquid markets, including EOS, Aave, and Algorand.
Additionally, the exchange has banned "highly profitable trading strategies," reminiscent of tactics used in the 2022 Mango Markets exploit.
This move follows a dramatic spike and crash in YFI's value, which initially soared over 170% in November before plummeting 43%, erasing $300 million in market cap.
dYdX founder Antonio Juliano attributed the volatility to one individual's actions, and the platform is now offering a bounty for information to prevent future exploits.
The Kronos incident
Taiwanese trading firm Kronos Research was hacked, resulting in an estimated loss of $25 million.
The attacker gained access to Kronos's API keys, leading to unauthorised access of the company's funds. Blockchain researcher ZachXBT identified rapid outflows from a wallet totalling over $25 million worth of ether, suggesting that this amount was stolen.
Kronos paused all trading activities following the incident, causing issues on the exchange Woo X, which was incubated by Kronos.
However, Woo X assured its clients that their funds were safe and has now resumed spot and perpetual trading and withdrawals.
TTD Surfer 🏄
Former Bithumb chair, Lee Jeong-hoon, is facing an eight-year prison sentence in South Korea for allegedly defrauding $70 million.
James Wallis, Ripple's VP for central bank engagements and CBDCs, emphasizes the role of CBDCs in promoting global financial inclusion.
Binance, a major cryptocurrency exchange, has seen the departure of multiple anti-crime staffers in recent months.
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